EasyJet offering repatriation flights from wildfire ravaged Rhodes
EasyJet announces it will be starting repatriation flights from wildfire ravaged Rhodes from TOMMORROW as Tui announces it has cancelled all outbound flights
EasyJet will be offering repatriation flights from wildfire ravaged Rhodes beginning tomorrow as TUI announced it has cancelled all outbound flights.
The air carrier will bring 421 additional holidaymakers back to London tomorrow on two repatriation flights from Rhodes to Gatwick Airport. The flights are in addition to the nine already operating between the island and the UK.
EasyJet is operating a further repatriation flight on Tuesday and said it will ‘continue to keep under review if additional repatriation flights are needed’.
It comes as the Government has sent a response team to Greece after British families trapped on Rhodes described fleeing their hotels and being crammed into makeshift evacuation centres without water, food or showers, as the terrifying wildfires on the island rage on in what is the country’s largest disaster evacuation in history.
More than 30,000 people were evacuated from the island yesterday, with many others forced to leave their belongings behinds as they take refuge at other resorts.
EasyJet will be offering repatriation flights from wildfire ravaged Rhodes beginning tomorrow as TUI announced it has cancelled all outbound flights. Pictured: Tourists wait in the Rhodes airport’s departure hall today as evacuations are underway
The Government has sent a response team to Greece after British families trapped on Rhodes described fleeing their hotels and being crammed into makeshift evacuation centres without water, food or showers, as the terrifying wildfires on the island rage on in what is the country’s largest disaster evacuation in history. Pictured: Wildfires burn near Epidaurus today
Pictured: The gutted remains of cars lie on a road after a forest fire on Rhodes, Greece today
EasyJet announced the rescue flights today as the six-day wildfire continues to rage.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: ‘We know the situation for many currently in Rhodes is very difficult so we are doing all we can to help customers and provide assistance.
‘EasyJet will be operating two repatriation flights tomorrow from Rhodes to Gatwick using an A320 and an A321 aircraft totalling 421 additional seats.
‘This is in addition to the nine flights we already have operating between Rhodes and the UK. ‘We will also operate a further repatriation flight on Tuesday and continue to keep under review if additional repatriation flights are needed.
‘Any easyJet flight-only customers who have been evacuated from their hotel and are currently at the airport should contact easyJet’s airport staff.
‘Any customers wishing to travel back to the UK early can contact easyJet’s Customer Services team.’
News of the rescue flights come as several holiday firms are cancelling flights to Rhodes.
Jet2 Holidays cancelled all flights to the island until July 30 and said it would send empty planes to bring stranded Britons home, while TUI said it would cancel all flights and holidays until Tuesday.
EasyJet said it will operate two repatriation flights from Rhodes on Monday and a third on Tuesday to bring British holidaymakers back to London Gatwick Airport
More than 30,000 people were evacuated from the island yesterday, with many others forced to leave their belongings behinds as they take refuge at other resorts. Pictured: Firefighters try to extinguish wildfires in Asklipio village on Rhodes island today
Pictured: Firefighters fighting with a wildfire at Metochi village, near Epidaurus, Greece today
Pictured: A firefighter tries to put out a blaze at Metochi village, near Epidaurus, Greece today
The six-day blaze continued to rage today after the fire service warned more fires could break out with temperatures set to reach 45C. Pictured: A firefighter battling a blaze in Metochi village, near Epidaurus today
Thomas Cook later announced it had cancelled all holidays to Kiotari and Lardos – the areas of the island most at risk – until July 31 and would be in touch with customers to arrange ‘swift refunds’.
READ MORE: British families’ Rhodes nightmare
It has also offered full refunds to customers due to depart for other parts of the island on Sunday and Monday who wish to cancel their trip.
British Airways said that, while it was still operating flights to the island, anyone due to fly there in the next week could postpone their trip free of charge, while those already there could fly back earlier.
The British ambassador to Greece said the Foreign Office had sent a ‘rapid deployment team’ to help UK tourists who were among thousands forced to flee for their lives on Saturday as the wildfire spread.
Families were evacuated from their hotels at night and left their belongings behind as the huge flames crawled closer, with some having to walk miles to find refuge or wade through water to reach rescue boats near the beach.
The wildfire had been confined to the island’s mountainous centre but, aided by winds, very high temperatures and dry conditions, it spread on Saturday towards the coast on the island’s central-eastern side.
The six-day blaze continued to rage today after the fire service warned more fires could break out with temperatures set to reach 45C.
In an update on Twitter, Jet2Travel said: ‘The situation in Rhodes continues to evolve quickly and our absolute priority is the health, safety and well-being of customers and colleagues.
Pictured: Evacuees wait to board buses as they leave their hotel during a forest fire on the island of Rhodes, Greece today
Pictured: Tourists stand in front of an information board at the Rhodes airport’s departure hall as evacuations are underway today due to wildfires
Pictured: Tourists wait for departing planes at the airport today after being evacuated following a wildfire on the island of Rhodes, Greece
‘Due to these extraordinary circumstances, we have cancelled all flights and holidays that are due to depart to Rhodes up to and including Sunday July 30.
‘We will fly those aircrafts to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring customers back to the UK on their scheduled flight.’
Tui said: ‘The situation in the Southern part of £Rhodes remains volatile and challenging. Due to this and considering the impact on local communities being affected, TUI has decided to cancel all flights and booked holidays to Rhodes for departures up to and incl. Tue, 25 July.’
British ambassador Matthew Lodge tweeted: ‘Since the wildfires situation deteriorated yesterday @ukingreece has been working with the Greek authorities, airlines and tour operators to support UK nationals on Rhodes. A rapid deployment team from @FCDOGovUK is on its way.’
Source: Read Full Article